3/16/2014 – Dependent Arising 2 – Habitual Patterns

Michael guided our reflections as we continue exploring the Buddhist understanding of cause and effect , focusing this week on the fabricating of habitual patterns (Sankhara), the stress that results, and the possibility of transforming them in practice.  Contemporary neurology as well as ancient scripture were brought to bear on this causal phase of suffering.

The work of neurologist Rick Hanson was of particular use here, not only in explaining humankind’s bias toward negative experience, but also in spotting and cultivating thought patterns which lead to sustained happiness.  Hansen’s books are “The Buddha’s Brain,” “Hardwiring Happiness,” and “Just One Thing.”  A respected teacher of meditation at spirit Rock, he is also recognized for his work in neuroplasticity but the scientific community.